Rauner takes pensions hostage in his war on working families

We Are One Illinois, the coalition of unions representing public service workers and retirees, issued this statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Jan. 21 news conference on public pensions:

“Another day, another hostage for Governor Rauner in his war on the working people of Illinois. Yesterday it was public schools, for more than a year it has been the state budget, and today it is retirement security for teachers, first responders and other public service workers.

“Rather than address his failure to enact a state budget or take a new approach by showing a willingness to work together, the Governor promotes cutting constitutionally-protected pensions in an effort to further attack working people and their unions he considers his political enemies.

“Rauner’s latest proposal is irresponsible and divisive. Slashing retirement security by forcing workers to choose between two diminished options is clearly unconstitutional. And to no one’s surprise, poison pills in the governor’s plan would wipe out the right of working people to have a collective voice on the job on behalf of their families and those they serve.

“Our coalition has always advocated a responsible solution to the pension funding issue that is both constitutional and fair. We urge the governor to abandon unconstitutional attacks and put the people of this state ahead of his political agenda. His disregard for working families is causing irreparable harm to children and communities across Illinois.”